63 | Cleaning is Now Safety | with Safety Captain Justin Ford

Uncategorized May 14, 2020

 

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We’ve talked about safety before, and we’ve talked about cleaning, but one thing is now clear in a COVID-19 world: Cleaning is safety.

We have our safety expert, Justin Ford, back on the show this week to talk about how things have changed dramatically since his last appearance. Prior to COVID-19, the only safety measures involving cleaning products mostly revolved around the way those products were stored and keeping them out of the hands and mouths of children. Today, cleaning properly is the number one concern of guests.

There is no real guideline for what cleaning safety should look like, but there are a couple of places to look: The hotel industry, Airbnb’s own policies, and what guests actually want. Guests, in particular, have some very deep concerns about the safety of their rentals — with no clear way of alleviating that fear.

So what cleaning aspect should you, as a host, be concerned with now that you hadn’t been...

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62 | Creating an Unforgettable Airbnb Experience: Star Wars Edition | with Bryndee Barton

Uncategorized May 07, 2020

 

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Everyone wants their property to stand out from the crowd, and one way to do that is through experiential properties. These properties take their guest experience to the extreme.

Bryndee Barton is the designer at Loma Homes, which has an incredible Star Wars-themed rental that you can experience right now. She started in the more traditional real estate realm and now she focuses on managing Airbnbs that take their guests to the next level.

They didn’t set out to specifically make themed rentals, but Bryndee knew that they wanted their properties to be in the top 10% of whatever market they were in. When they looked at the competition out there, they saw that doing these above-and-beyond themes would make them stand out from the crowd.

This is not just throwing down some Star Wars throw pillows and comforters, though. They went all-out. We dive into all of the work that goes into creating these themes and properties, finding investors for your Airbnb...

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61 | Building an Epic Short-Term Rental Business | with Steph Utterback

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2020

 

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Do you want to create an epic business?

From the time Steph Utterback was a manager at Starbucks, she had a love for hospitality, and that led to her pursuing the world of short-term rentals. Steph is now the owner of EpicBnb, a Nashville-based hospitality company specializing in design, short-term rental management, and consulting.

Over time, she evolved her portfolio into an “epic” branding, and the biggest part of that is having her epic standards — which was essentially the Airbnb Plus checklist before that was a program. 

The main question she asks her clients is: Would you pay to stay in your property? People are expecting an upgrade over their everyday living situation, and that’s what you need to provide in order to be epic.

Another part of an epic business is an epic team. The first essential employee for EpicBnb was an accountant because money is constantly floating around. They’ve now currently grown to a...

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60 | Is Mid-Term the New Short-Term?

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2020

 

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Is mid-term the new short-term?

Before we answer that, let’s talk about what a mid-term rental actually is. A long-term rental is usually a year-long lease in an unfurnished property. A short-term stay, in most cities, is defined as anything less than 30 days. So anything over 30 days but less than a year would count as a mid-term stay.

The typical length of stay, at this point in time, is drastically changing. With that comes a shift in how you are going to have to look at your revenue. With longer stays comes a smaller daily rate, but also comes with the benefit of less overall maintenance costs. That may take a while to adjust to but it’s necessary with this new model of renting.

 

Where should I list?

When listing a mid-term rental, you want to have as wide an audience as possible. Here are some popular rental sites you can cross-post your listing to:

And this is...

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59 | 9 Ways to Pivot Your Short-Term Rental

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2020

 

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We are in a very weird time, and we don’t know exactly what the other side of it will look like.

We’re going to go over nine ways you can pivot your short-term listing, whether that’s during a slow season, a huge event comes to your area, or any unexpected circumstance occurs. These tips are meant to be timeless and apply to any rapid change in direction.

  1. The headline and the title. It’s important to choose a strong title, but you don’t need to be married to it. Don’t be afraid to change it up quarterly or more. Get creative, think outside the box, and stand out from the competition.
  2. The description/summary. This is where you should address whatever it is that’s relevant. This might be the only thing a potential guest reads.
  3. Update your photos and captions. See which Airbnb pictures stand out when you’re browsing and identify why.
  4. Different guests have different needs. When your clientele changes, be aware...
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58 | Airbnb Gets Back to Its Roots: Resources for Hosts during the Pandemic

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2020

 

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We are dealing with a virus that has taken the world by storm. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been alive, there hasn’t been anything quite like this in living memory.

Not long ago, we talked about how you should handle cancellations. But since then,, Airbnb announced that they would honor any cancellations related to the virus and give a full refund, regardless of a host’s policy. This upset many hosts, but we think it will help them in the long run — you will only get guests in the future if they trust the Airbnb platform.

That said, Airbnb does see that hosts are hurting. Below, we have linked to some resources Airbnb has supplied to give their hosts some support. They are giving money back to any host that has had COVID-related cancellations, offering additional support for superhosts, and allowing guests to donate to hosts.

The short term rental market is going to bounce back. When this is over, there will be pent-up...

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57 | How to Properly Insure your Short-Term Rental or Business | with Darren Pettyjohn

Uncategorized Apr 02, 2020

 

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We know adulting is hard but trust us: proper insurance is essential. It is going to benefit you, your guest, and your property (whether you own it or not).

Darren Pettyjohn is a co-founder at Proper Insurance Services, which offers a custom insurance product designed for vacation rental and short term rental owners. After college, Darren bounced around a bit until he ended up in program insurance or niche insurance. When he discovered the world of Airbnb and short-term rentals, he saw that there was a real need for an insurance product specifically designed for this market.

Darren is here to answer all of our questions about insurance as it relates to you and your short term or vacation rental, wherever it is you fall in the process.

 

Why is it so important to verify the insurance you use for your short-term rental business?

When it comes to insurance, most renters think they are covered — homeowners insurance, landlord insurance — but...

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56 | Dryer Safety in Your Short Term Rental | with Justin Ford

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

 

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There’s one area of safety that pretty much everyone in the short-term rental game has to consider: dryer safety. To give us all the details, we are once again joined by our resident safety captain, Justin Ford! 

Justin tries to make safety exciting, and so far he’s done a great job of it. He’s a former US Coastguard safety officer, and he started the largest vacation rental company in the Northeast, which led him to what he does today as the director of safety and certification programs at Breezeway, a software company that makes it easier to manage property care and maintenance operations.

 

Why dryer safety is a big deal

Dryer fires are far more common than anyone realizes, and they are also very easy to prevent. Over time, small amounts of lint from each load you dry won’t make out of the unit for a variety of reasons. Once the vent gets blocked with lint, your dryer exhaust has nowhere to go, and eventually, the lint...

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55 | Tactical Things You Can Do Tomorrow To Raise Revenue | with Sharon Keefe

Uncategorized Mar 19, 2020

 

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Are you being compensated for all of the services you are providing?

We have Sharon Keefe back on the show because she’s been in the vacation rental market for over 17 years — from working at a front desk to working for a vacation rental software company — and now she helps vacation rental managers grow strategically. She is an expert at creating sustainable business models for short-term rental businesses, without sacrificing the guest’s experience.

Sharon has spent the last 17 years in the hospitality space and her passion for the last 14 years has been in the vacation and short-term rental industry. She coaches and teaches how to run the business more efficiently, increase positive guest reviews and make more money.

Today we’re going to talk about tangible, actionable things you can do to increase revenue. Some of these things are kind of high-level, but we want you to think big for when you are going to need systems and...

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54 | Scaling Your Short-Term Rental Business | with Steve Trover

Uncategorized Mar 12, 2020

 

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Do you want to grow your short-term rental side hustle into a full-time gig?

Steve Trover is an expert at scaling businesses. He got into the vacation rental industry in 1997, where he started helping others manage their own properties. He eventually went on to scaling his own management business, eventually managing over 350 properties and 100 employees. He now helps vacation rental companies identify, hire, and retain the right people for the right seats

So, if you’re interested in scaling your STR business, what do you need to keep in mind?

 

Know the regulations in your area

Vacation rentals are being regulated all over the country and the world, and if you don’t currently have rules and regulations in your area, they’re coming. This isn’t meant to alarm you, but to empower you! 

Play an active role in regulation: attend city hall meetings, vote in favor of regulations you agree with, and push back against those you...

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